Randall Parr, (I-Appleton) is seeking to represent District 95 voters of Appleton, Hope, part of Union (See below) and Warren in Augusta. He is in a four-way race against Independents Christian Neils, and Gary Sukeforth, and Republican Wesley Richardson. Union is split between District 95 and District 91. The part of Union in District 95 is: the part of the municipality of Union south and east of a line described as follows: Beginning at the point where the Union-Appleton boundary intersects with the eastern shore of Sennebec Pond; then southwest along the shoreline of Sennebec Pond until it intersects with the Saint George River; then south along the Saint George River until it intersects with Heald Highway; then west along Heald Highway until it intersects with Clarry Hill Road; then southwest and southeast along the centerline of Clarry Hill Road until it intersects with Clarry Hill Lane; then west along the centerline of Clarry Hill Lane until it intersects with Rabbit Farm Road; then south along the centerline of Rabbit Farm Road until it intersects with the Union-Warren boundary.
Parr works as a data architect consultant and author. He has been a labor economist, and U.S. Naval officer. He has participated in the Public Banking Institute, Maine Green Independent Party, “We the People Maine”, “350 Maine”, “Friends of Penobscot Bay,” “Thanks but No Tank”, Cooperative Maine, and Midcoast Peace and Justice. He has taught at Worcester State College, New Hampshire College, and Coastal Senior College.
He holds two master degrees, one in economics from the Univ. of Mass., Amherst, and the other in computer Information from Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Parr was born in Camden and is the author of Occupying a New Maine Economy, Creating a State-owned Bank, published by Goose River Press, 2014.
PBP: What are the three most pressing issues facing Maine today, and how would you like to see them resolved?
The three most pressing problems facing Maine today in my opinion are the environment, energy, and the economy.
To solve these problems, I believe we need to extract a corporate tapeworm embedded in government, stealing resources, destroying environment and chaining us to unsustainable, environment-destroying, carbon-producing, climate-changing fossil fuels.
One case in point is attempted development of a half megaton liquid propane facility in Searsport, by agencies rubber-stamping corporate permits without public hearings, and trying to steamroller opponents objecting to danger and ugliness.
Another example is the “big dredge” in Searsport costing the people $13 Million which would dump toxic Mercury-laced compounds on Maine’s valuable seafood fisheries and benefit only eight vessels per year who will be saved waiting a few hours for high tide to unload their carbon-producing fossil fuels without public hearings or an opportunity for the people to challenge them.
One third of Maine children live in poverty. Maine has always exported its young because of lack of local opportunities.
To correct these problems. One element would be to create a state-owned bank as discussed in my book Occupying A New Maine Economy.
We should eliminate the income tax on work, and the general sales tax on purchasing, stealing wages and making everything we buy more expensive. New Hampshire has never had a sales tax nor an income tax. The return on equity of a state bank and savings debt servicing costs [hundreds of millions] would partly compensate for tax elimination revenue loss.
We could also add fees and taxes to harmful activities to humankind to replace income and sales tax revenues. In 2011 Maine had the 14th highest tax burden of the 50 states. Now that 2013 legislature has increased tax rates again, Maine may be in competition for the dubious honor of the highest tax burden of all 50 states. We will know in two years.
How will you protect the local (municipal) taxpayer as you attempt to help shape a state budget?
Each local taxpayer has to act within his own community to ensure that he or she is being fairly taxed. At the state level we need to make sure that properties are assessed fairly and towns have tools to fairly determine what tax amount will be for each citizen. The court system is available to appeal cases where taxpayers feel they have been shortchanged. The new economy that will be created by a state-owned bank will provide more resources for municipal taxpayers.
How will you work to keep Maine’s fisheries vital and productive?
Maine’s Fisheries are a very important resource. We must stop polluting their habitat and we must transition to a sustainable carbon-free economy. Our dredge spoils should be deposited on land; not on top of our fisheries. We should work with our boat building industry to create solar wind electric motor-powered boats for fishing and recreation. Since sun and wind energy are free this could reduce operating costs for fishermen as well as moving in the right climate change direction. We need to ensure that Penobscot River Mercury pollution is cleaned up and we must ensure that any other point-pollution sources are eliminated. We need to listen to the advice of our fishermen regarding preserving our fishing stocks.
How do you envision Friendship, Union, Waldoboro and Washington in 5 years? What do the schools/education look like? What does the economy look like? What does the population look like?
I envision a bright future for House District 95. Farms and Forestry are significant industries. Opportunities exist for cooperative retail, wholesale as well as remote professional engineering and information enterprises using advanced technologies. Environment preservation will give District 95 opportunities for eco-tourism and recreation. Opportunities for health care facilities may exist. We should augment sparse retail facilities. Many people travel outside the district for provisions and groceries and health care because they can’t find what they need locally. Increased capital availability from a state-owned bank could spur enterprise growth.
Schools and education will hopefully take advantage of improved information availability of the Internet. More work study cooperative programs like Northeastern University in Boston at the secondary school level could improve education with hands-on work.
Economics and accounting should be taught in secondary schools. A second language should be taught when children can learn best at a young age. Students should be provided better computers and information skills. It would be advantageous to develop post secondary college or academy to the district. All students should be involved in Intramural sports or inter-school sports so that young people can obtain sufficient physical activity and develop team work.
I think that older people can benefit from contributing to the community perhaps in the schools or after-school programs for students or community affairs. Students should learn how to learn, People should become lifelong learners. television should be discouraged. We should embrace organic farming, gardening and community cooperative activities. Microloans and enterprise incubators could help provide businesses needed in the communities. The state bank could lead into this effort.
Do you support building a natural gas infrastructure (pipeline) through the region?
I do not support building natural gas pipelines for many reasons: Gas is more expensive in real terms than renewable solar, wind, thermal, hydroelectric, tidal energies, carbon greenhouse gas-producing fuel that must be imported where harmful techniques – fracking – insert unknown toxic chemicals endangering water supplies underground and spilling methane into the water and air. Gas cost advantages originate from federal fossil fuel subsidies which outnumber renewable energies by 2.5 to 1 and external costs which the society is forced to bear. Sunlight is free. Wind is free. Tides are free.
I’d impose a pipeline tax to give disincentive to gas pipelines and develop alternative renewable energy uses. I’d make sure that Maine’s assets aren’t being used by carbon producing energy investments.
What is your position on alternative energy and state investment into it?
I am strongly in favor of alternative renewable energies solar, wind, tidal, hydroelectric, geothermal. I do not support huge industrial pinwheel turbines, but prefer backyard local distributed vertical axis wind turbines with battery banks. Vertical wind turbines are virtually silent while pinwheel turbines can be extremely noisy. The Mars Hill incident is a good example of what not to do to your community with massive pinwheel farms.
What is your position of legalizing marijuana?
I am in favor of legalizing marijuana and imposing a tax on it to compensate for harmful effects it has on people. If it were legal we would not be paying the high costs of incarcerating those people caught with it.
What issues are emerging from your conversations with the public as you go about your campaign, and what solutions do you envision?
A public state-owned bank can provide major advantages to the state economy. I believe we should reorganize government and transform the Maine Municipal Bond Bank and the Finance Authority of Maine into a full state-owned bank based on North Dakota’s model.
I think the mandatory seat-belt law should be eliminated. It is unconstitutional.
I would eliminate the Maine Fuel Board and put its management of gas facilities under the Dept of Public Safety Fire Marshal as other explosive fossil fuels are.
I would eliminate the state wage tax and the state general sales tax.
I would get the electric utilities to place solar energy collectors and vertical axis wind collectors in power line rights of way, and place roadside overhead wire in underground conduits to reduce power outages and reduce tree trimming costs. This would also improve tree canopies and remove more carbon dioxide from atmosphere.
Is Maine a nanny state? What is your position on welfare reform?
We may need to have a safety net but if we had a new economy created by a public bank I think that we could eliminate poverty and eliminate the need for welfare. I do not believe anyone is on welfare because they choose to do so. There are a lot of needs for people to participate in. We need to just do it.
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